My review of Marc Maron's Attempting Normal in Bookforum

Miriam Katz
May 14, 2013 4:35PM

In his new memoir, Attempting Normal, comedian Marc Maron describes several of his more arduous experiences, from eating extra spicy chicken to rescuing feral kittens to bedding down-and-out prostitutes (only twice; he's "not a hooker guy"). Maron's comedic persona, which he has honed for the past thirty years, is both hostile and hypersensitive, and listening to him on stage or on his critically acclaimed podcast WTF can feel like eavesdropping on a therapy session. Airing painful personal history might not help him work through his issues ("if your life is disintegrating, saying so publicly doesn't necessarily reverse the rot") but reading about Maron's capers certainly makes usfeel better. As the comic himself says, "when you hear the things that people have gone through and realize you've gone through the same, it provides an amazing amount of relief." But first, let's get back to that chicken...

Miriam Katz
Get the Artsy app
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play
Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019